Letters To My Mother From WWII: May 1945

ve-day

May 1:  I have an air mail stamp, so this letter may beat a lot of the ones I have sent free. I have written every day and they will drift along in time.

We had a lot of rain last night. For a while it just poured. Every thing is so fresh and nice this morning. It seemed like a June morning back home. Wouldn’t “June Morning” make a nice name for a horse?

How is Edith Louise this morning? I am anxious to get those pictures because I know she has changed since last summer. I want to see how big a change it is. I hope I am home before she is two. To my way of thinking that is the cute stage.

Florence, I know you get tired of writing to me. It’s not so easy for me, but we will just have to make the best of it.

Perhaps it will not be so very much longer the way things are going now. Perhaps Tokyo will not hold out as long as Berlin did. It’s so foolish and it just means more men have to die for a lost cause.

Now that I am starting to feel better my nerves are better too. I hate to think of seeing any more combat, but I guess I am no better than the next guy. Perhaps our outfit will get a rest like we did last summer.  Hope so, it would be fun to lie around for a few months.

I hope you and I can afford enough land to have a small orchard. If we only had a few trees it would be so nice. Plums, peaches and perhaps an apple tree. It’s fun to plan what sort of place we can some day have. It will take time and work, but I guess we will have plenty of time. We are still young and that is the big thing.

I have a couple of magazines to read. They are several months old.

May 2:  It’s nearly noon and I have been reading all morning. Happy life I lead. Last summer I told you about reading a book called “Old Jules” and how much I liked it. I have just finished another by Mari Sandoz author of “Old Jules” and called “Slogum House.” It sure was a good one. Have you read it?

My jaundice is a little better, at least I feel better. I stay pretty close to my bed and I suppose I will be here for some time.

I am wondering what you will think of Lexington. Even though I have spent more time in Lexington than ever I spent in Detroit I know very few people there outside of horsemen. That will be the nice part about going down there: I will not have to share you with anyone. I hope my old friend Jim Laughlin is there. You will like him. He must be nearly 55 by now, but one hell of a swell guy. I hope out little honeymoon is not to far away.

I am wondering what you are going to have for dinner today. Corn Pone? I would like some corn pone like I used to make in Champaign…the stuff you call fried mush. I sure would like to do my own cooking for a while and be able to get anything I wanted to cook. For breakfast I would fry 6 eggs, have hot cakes, and a slice of ham about an inch thick. I haven’t enough paper to tell you what I would make for dinner and supper, but there would be little else besides pie, ice cream, and cake. I ment to ask you if you know how to make baking powder biscuits? If not you better learn how before I get home. I’ll love you anyway, so don’t worry.

May 4:  I have been looking at this sheet of paper for some time wondering what I could write to you about. When I am out in the field there are always little things to tell you. Here it is a different story. I get up in the morning and spend the day reading and that is about all there is to it. Sometimes the fellow in the next bed feels like talking and we talk for an hour or two.

I miss James. He was wounded back in March and I haven’t seen him since. I received a letter from his wife and she told me he was doing alright. James made Sgt. the day before he was hit. I wrote to Clair T the other day. He was alright the last time I saw him in March and I don’t think his troop has been in too much trouble. He is in a troop that does not see much combat. In fact, Clair T went the first few months without hearing a Jap gun fired.

This is about the time of year for mom to start getting together flowers for Memorial Day.  To her Memorial Day ranks right up with Christmas.

I am sleeping good these nights. I always dream a lot, but I do sleep and that is the main thing. Perhaps I will start to gain weight when I get over this.

There is a list of rules going around about the soldier who is returning to the states. It is all a joke, but some of them are pretty good. One tells the soldier that they use bathrooms in the states and it will not be necessary to take a shovel and go out back. If I can find a list I will send it to you. Editor’s Note: I could find no such list on the internet.

May 5: How time flies – I have been thinking over that fact and things that seem as though they happened yesterday actually happened 15 and 20 years ago. I remember the day Wanda was born as well as I remember yesterday. Sometime during the night dad got Steve, John, and I out of bed and sent us to Giffins place about a half mile away. We spent the night there and returned in the morning to find that we had a sister. When Ruth Jean was born things were different. Dad was away and I was the man of the house. There is one nice thing about looking back – I have lived a pretty full life and got a great deal of fun out of it.

I have slept most of the morning. I was up a part of last night and I notice my eyes are starting to get yellow again. The jaundice is bad stuff in my book. Oh Well! I guess it is a part of life.

I get lots of coke to drink. They do not have carbonated water and make it with ice water. It’s not bad and sure beats a lemon drink they used to give us.

It would be fun to go on a picnic or something with you. Remember the time we went with Elizabeth and Lyle? Fun wasn’t it? Such days will come again.

May 6, V-Mail:  My morale has climbed to a new high this afternoon. Another fellow and I have talked about fishing until we talked ourselves out. That always makes me feel better. You tell Meyers to catch a fish for me. It would be fun to go on a camping trip with you. I mean to make up a pack and go off to some lake where we could have it all to ourselves. Perhaps I’ll be able to do that with John W. when he is about thirteen. I have an idea he is going to like the woods and water.

May 7:  Editor’s Note: The following letter was addressed to Edith L. Ellison.  Your dad is proud of you! At last I am sure my daughter knows her horses. She proved it to me when she named her first horse Teddy. You know why you call him Teddy and I know why, but your mother hasn’t guessed. Perhaps you better tell her.

Tell your mother what a great horse Teddy was, I mean the real Teddy. How he was foaled in France about the same time your daddy was born. Tell her about his racing record and how after he was retired his sons and daughters went on to make racing history.  Tell her about Sir Galahad, a son of Teddy, and Gallant Fox his grandson. Explain to her about Omaha and how he reflected glory on his grandsire Teddy, by winning most of the three-year old stakes in 1935. Tell her how, at last, Teddy was brought to the bluegrass of Kentucky where he lived out his years. You might mention the race between Sun Teddy and Red Rain at Saratoga and how your daddy darn near cried when Red Rain knocked Sun Teddy to his knees. Then there is Teddy Weed, Ted Easy and hundreds of others who have carried the name of Teddy into the winners circle. You and I understand all these things and when we name a horse we know why we name it.

Yes Edith, you are qualified to name your own horses and I love you for it.

Teddy

Teddy: Bay Stallion born 1913, Registration T0153473

May 8: Here are the pictures. Some good and some not so good. You will notice that I look pretty bad in all these pictures.  I had just came in from the mountains and had dysentery so bad. In spite of all that’s happened since then I look better now and have more weight.  Would you finish off a dozen of James and I on the pile of bombs and three of  the one where three of us are sitting on a log and send them back? The kid next to me on the log was killed and I want to make sure his mother gets one of the pictures.

Yes the shrapnel is still in my arm. It’s a small piece and I don’t think it will ever bother me. If it starts to hurt I’ll cut it out myself. They took a test of my stool and this morning the doc stopped by and told me I had round worms. It’s a great life.

Last night the whistle blew and I thought it was an air raid. Germany had fallen, so I went back to sleep. The war over here could end any day and again it may drag on for a while. At least we will get some help. I’ll stand a pretty good chance of coming home once it ends.

VE-Day Times Square

VE-Day Times Square

May 10:  This morning I start reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. There are twelve hundred pages of fine print, so I should be busy for a few days. It deals with the French Revolution.

In a way I think you would be better off to go back to Muskegon this fall. You know a few people there and by having the piano and Edith you could manage to be much happier. You do whatever you want to do, but don’t make any iron clad deals, because I may want to hire a cook before spring. I sort of have my eye on you. We have been separated so long that I will want every day with you once I do get home.

Flip, if you haven’t bought a watch please don’t. I don’t need a watch so very bad and I would rather you would but a new dress with the money; either that or buy a watch for yourself. It’s going to seem nice to have Wanda paid off. I hope to be able to send you a money order this summer. I have a money order from W&B that I have carried since Christmas without being able to cash it.

How is Edith? Does she gallop Teddy every morning? Tell her to gallop him with run down bandages and be sure to cool him out. I expect they will run the Kentucky Derby about the first of June. I’ll bet all the horsemen were glad to have the ban lifted. It was a foolish thing to do.

May 11:  The letter H.C.L Jackson dramatized (Editor’s Note: refer to Uncensored Letter dated Jan 13, 1945.)  was one I had written to W&B. I received a nice letter from W&B telling me they had made copies of the letter and sent it to all their salesmen. They want me to write again. Flip, it’s good business because I have and idea I’ll be known when I get back there and it may be of some help towards a good job. That is one thing I will need when I get home. I don’t want to wait too long before going back to work. Two weeks vacation should be enough. Just to be home will be vacation enough for me.

Maggie writes that Sam hardly ever comes down to the house. Wait until you get up there. He will make regular trips twice a day. I’ll bet Maggie will be mighty tickled to see her granddaughter. It will be a nice place for Edith to play outside. There are not so many cars on that street.

I wish I was making a little extra money. You might need it on your vacation.

I have sent word back to the troop to forward my mail again. Should have more letters from you in another week. Life is so much brighter when I hear from you.

I am glad you liked the handkerchiefs. I bought them in Manilla. I suppose you guessed they came from there. I have an old school mate in Manilla. If I ever go back there I want to look him up.

It’s raining this morning. I’ll have to get someone to walk to the post office and get envelopes for me. I went there yesterday, but they were out and I guess the walk didn’t do me any good.

May 12:  I have been enjoying Les Miserables and it is so long. I have several days to read before I finish it. There are over 1200 pages of fine print.

I have a hunch we are in for a hot day. The sun is out and I don’t see a cloud in the sky. It can get pretty warm around here. Why should I worry? All I have to do is lie here and think of you or read and sometimes both.

I plan on going to church tomorrow. They have a pretty good Chaplin here and a little Church going would do me good.

Our ward boy has been snapping his jaws all morning. Saturday (today) is inspection and he wants to make sure the ward is in good order.

I heard a little over the radio about the point system. I guess they are going to let some of us out and the man who has the most points will get out first. As I understand it, we get one point for each month in the service and an extra point for each month overseas. For Edith I will receive twelve points and I will get four points for each wound. At that rate I have a total of seventy points. I figure Kirby has exactly the same number. If we get points for combat, which I think we will, I will be away out in front.

May 13:  I guess I should start out by reminding you today is Mother’s Day. I am thinking of you and if I were there Edith and I would see to it that you had a nice day.

I checked my points last night. I have a total of 73 and need 85 to get out. I didn’t get any points off you, but Edith is worth 12 and each wound I received is worth 5 points. There are so many fellows with over 85 that I haven’t a chance until the war is over. The only real chance I have lies in the fact I am no longer fit for combat. Perhaps by the time I get out of here I will be in shape again.

Joe E Brown is to put on a show here tomorrow night. They say he is good. Last night they had a softball game and I watched them play. A softball game will always draw a crowd.

I slept sound last night. It rained real hard during the night, but I didn’t know anything about it.

I have a Victory Garden. Of course it’s pretty small because all I have is one potato. I found one down by the kitchen and planted it at the head of my bunk. There is nothing like having a little farm. I can hardly wait until we have a place of our own where we can have a real garden with a few fruit trees and whatever else we want. to grow.

I am going to read for a while and then go to church. I am sending you a thousand kisses and all my love. It’s Mother’s Day, you know, and I want to be extra good to you.

May 14:  Joe E Brown is to put on his show at five. It’s three now and raining cats and dogs. All weather over here seems sudden and perhaps the sun will be out by five.

Yesterday was a big day for me. I went to church in the morning and to a show last night. On top of all that I had ice cream for supper. I paid for it during the night by suffering the agony of the damned. I am not well yet, but I sure am a lot better than I was three weeks ago. I may ask the doctor to have me reclassified. With the point system as a means of discharge it makes little difference whether I am in the Cavalry or WACS. I am afraid if I go through too much more this same trouble will come back. I used to have the feeling I didn’t want to leave the troop.  Well the troop has just about left me. The old gang I used to fight with has just about gone. They were killed, wounded, transferred to other outfits, or evacuated to the States.

I would like to know whether you are going to Bellaire and if so when? I should start sending your letters there. I will wait until the 20th. In the meantime I may hear from you. I expect to get some mail this week.

I just finished drinking a cup of eggnog. Pretty good too! Of course it’s made from dehydrated eggs and powdered milk. I am so used to powdered milk that I can hardly notice the difference between it and cow’s milk when it is on cereal.

I am going to lie down and read Les Miserables. I hope you notice that I “lie down” much more than “lay down.” I also manage to put an “h” in “Whether.”  Tell me more dear teacher, tell me more.

Editor’s Note: The last paragraph in this letter was cut out by a censor.

May 15:  The Joe E Brown show was pretty darned good.  He sure gave us a lot of laughs. One of the best jokes was when he told about coming over with a boat load of WACS. He said there were only a few men on board and to borrow the words of Churchill, “Never in the history of the world did so few chase so many for so little.” He sure knew how to put himself over, Not once did he mention the Japs or our fighting. He didn’t even mention the fact that we were either sick or wounded. Pretty darned nice of him.

This has been a bad morning. I got up late and had to stand in the chow line for a long time. Got a dull blade when I went to shave and now I have to shine my shoes. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

I am wondering how you liked the house plan I sent to you. I am anxious to see just what kind of house we will build. I still want a basement. I doubt very much whether you will ever talk me out of that. I hope we can find a few acres near Plymouth that will not cost us too much. I know land is high.

The way things look now Wanda would be foolish to go to Panama. Jim should be able to get out now. I am sure they will not send him over here. He is too old. Al was in England wasn’t he? Perhaps they will send him over here. It would be funny if we should happen to meet over here. There are a lot of kids over here that I know, but I never seem to run into any of them. I guess someday I’ll take a few days off and try to look some of them up.

Does it make you happy when you realize this war might end one of these days? I don’t believe the Japs will take the pounding the Germans took, and even if they do it still will not last over another year. Then it’s home and we will live happy ever after. Let’s not fight with each other. I have had enough over here.

May 16:  It’s a beautiful morning and the birds are singing. To hear birds over here is something unusual. I guess they just found out the Japs were no longer here and it was safe to sing.

We had some corn meal mush for breakfast. I never eat it without remembering your dad. He claims to have lived on it during the first year of married life.

I have some news for you. Yesterday I talked to the doctor in regards to being reclassified. He said I might go before a board of Doctors. Anyway, he said he would talk with me about it again. I don’t feel as though I am in good enough condition to go on doing what I was doing. In some non-combat outfit I would be able to slowly regain my health and settle my nerves. Flip, after you have been wounded three times you get the idea you are living on borrowed time. I don’t know how it’s gong to turn out, but if I get before the board I have an idea I can convince them. Keep your fingers crossed.

This letter isn’t so very long. I am going to lie down again.

May 17: I feel good this morning. Have just had a shower and shave and now i am ready to go. The funny part of it is…..there is no place to go.

Last night I walked down to the Chaplain’s Office. There is a young fellow who works there that seems like a swell fellow and I enjoy talking with him. We get in some big arguments. They have a Bible study every Thursday night and I think I’ll go down tonight. Bible study to me was always a lot of fun.

Do you realize I lack three months of having three years in the army? It hardly seems possible. I feel sure I am on my last year. When I stop to figure it out there are not too many fellows over here with more points than I have. It’s going to be a great feeling when I see Frisco on the skyline.

I read in the news the Derby will be run June 9th. It should be that late every year. May is too early to have a horse ready for such a hard race. I am glad that racing will go on.

The rainy season seems to be here. It’s cloudy a good deal of the time and rains almost every day. Makes it a lot cooler in the tent.

I sleep a lot during the day and sleep good at night. I am glad of that, because it gives my nerves a rest. If I can just keep away from combat for a while I will come around alright. What I need is plenty of rest and eight hours of hard work every day. That’s the kind of medicine I’ll take when I get home.

Edith must be having a time for herself these spring days. Perhaps with plenty of play outside she will start sleeping at night without all the talk. She is an Ellison and has to do a certain amount of talking.

May 18:  The boys have been playing Monopoly this morning. They have had a pretty good game of it. It makes me remember how Eloise Cook and I used to play it in the winter of 1934. That was a long time ago.

Did I ever tell you about the Giant Clams down here in the Admiralty Islands? I know I didn’t, because at the time I didn’t know what they were. Some of them would be comparable to a wash tub in size and they would be sunk down in the coral where you might put your foot inside them. If you ever did and the clam clamped shut it would be too bad. If we were rich I would take you back there some day. The one thing that would take your eye would be the swimming.

Tomorrow will make four weeks in the hospital for me. I am starting to improve; at least I eat more than I did and that’s a big thing in my favor.

Yesterday they came through with slips to fill out in regards to points. For each month in service we get one point, for each month overseas we get one point, twelve points for each child, five points for each wound, and five for each campaign. I am not sure whether I get credit for the Admiralty Campaign. If I do I have 3 campaigns and 3 wounds, one child, 33 months of service, and 15 overseas for a total of 90 points. Last night I took the average of twenty fellows in the tent and it was 76. I don’t think the average over here is quite that high and best of all the first guy to get out of the army on points had 98. I am pretty happy about the whole thing. One thing about the points, if I get home on them I’ll come home as a free man. There is one thing this war has taught me; security. When I come home I am going to want that above all things.

They have a book in the Red Cross tent where you can register your name and home town. There are three fellows there from Muskegon.

I should receive more mail one of these days. I can hardly wait. I hope dad took one picture of you. I wish you could talk Jim Kirby out of the picture he has of you. Wanda sent one to him and I never did get one.

May 19:    It is a beautiful morning. The sun is up so bright and the grass and flowers are still wet from a recent ran. It reminds me of Michigan. There always was so much dew there. The potato I planted has started to grow.

I am reading a book by Golsworthy and I found a real nice name. Not for a person, but for a home or farm…Mapledurham.  How do you like it?

I was just over in another ward talking to a buddy of mine who is going to the states. He is a happy guy. Who wouldn’t be?

We had tuna fish for dinner last night. It was pretty good. I don’t eat much meat, but it looked good and I decided to try a little.

I am anxious to get back to W&B and start working again. Isn’t it going to be fun when I start working and you start cooking for me? If you are willing to handle a lot of the details I will be able to work right up until our house is finished.

May 20:   It’s Sunday again! I sure do lead an easy life these days. The only work I have to do is to shower and shave in the morning. Oh yes, sometimes I am elected to walk down to the Red Cross after the news sheet.

There is a kid in here (about two bunks from me) who seems to be a religious fanatic. He spends all his time reading his Bible and some evangelistic papers he has. I have had a couple of talks with him and I think he is a little bit off his nut.

I’ll bet Edith and Uncle Ed get along fine this year. How does she like him and does she miss David? Guess she is a little young to miss anyone. Flip, I sure would enjoy being there with you. I have an idea you are missing a part of Bellaire without me there to show you around.

The Filipinos are certainly small people. Sam Fuller would be a big man over here.

School is over for you? Must seem nice not to be going, but it did help to fill your winter.

I am anxious to hear from Clair T.  have not seen him since we left rest camp about the middle of March. He is going to kid me about spending so much time in the hospital. I guess I have spent three days with my troop since the 28th of March.

May 21:  I received two letters from you yesterday, three from mom and one from Mrs. Carlson. After I answer Mrs. Carlson’s letter I may send it on to mom and you can read it. I certainly enjoy her letters.

Glad to hear Gerald is home or at least in the states. Was this guy he asked me about in Gerald’s troop?  If so, he was killed by the same shell that wounded me. I wouldn’t tell this to Gerald until I make sure. There were three or four that got it and I think he was one of them.

Edith seems to have a mind of her own. I am glad you keep a firm line on her because she will have to be taught not to play in the street or even venture on it without someone along to hold her hand.

It is raining now, nice and cool. I am going to try to read myself to sleep as soon as I finish this. My jaundice kind of sneaked back on me and the doctor wants me to spend more time lying down. That should be easy to do.

May 23:  I took my worm treatment this morning, five little red pills that are supposed to kill them deader than a salt mackerel. Tomorrow morning I have to take a lot of “salts” and what I do tomorrow is no one’s business but my own.

I was surprised to read the United Nations Conference started without a prayer. I don’t suppose there is a GI over here who would even think of trying to knock out a machine gun without saying some kind of a prayer. I have an idea a fellow feels a little closer to God when in battle that does a statesman at a conference table.

I don’t think I’ll have them send my mail in again. I should be out of here in two or three weeks. Whether I go back to combat or not is still a question I can’t answer. The doctor hasn’t said any more about it. I’ll have to jog his memory tomorrow. Remember when Shotgun jogged the wardrobe girl’s memory about your riding with him?

Tomorrow is the 24th. It was three years ago tomorrow I switched you with a little stick after a hard fight. Next May 24th I’ll stop in on my way home from work and buy some yellow roses for you.

I am sending Mrs Carlson’s letter. Mom will be interested in reading it. Did Grace ever come to see you? She was always such a plain girl, but well liked by everyone.

Remember the day I left? As I walked to the bus I had a feeling you were crying and I thought of what all I might see and do before I could kiss away your tears. So much of it has come true.

Once when Fran Burns was away to summer school I sent her some Forget-Me-Not flowers. I received a letter from her the other day. She said they were her first flowers and asked me if I could remember them. She will be surprised to receive my answer. I sent a copy of the verse on the thank-you card she sent me. I love to remember little verses and poems like that and had it stored away in my mind for seventeen years.

The Red Cross girl wants me to come down and recite some poems for her.  Just now I am a bed patient, but as soon as I can I’ll go down. I need to go over some of my poems.

May 24, V-Mail:  I took my dose of “salts” this morning. UGH! They just brought my supper and guess what? I had a sweet pickle on my tray. The first one I have had in years. I have the Filipino ward boy out scouting for another one. If I can find a pair of clippers I am going to cut off all my hair again. I like it that way. I had some Filipino kids thinking I was a Jap. They all have short hair cuts. I would say “Gra” to them and then they would scatter. When the Japs say “Gra” they mean “Get the hell out of here.” I received a letter from Meyers last night. I wrote back and told him all the news I could think of about his troop – at least as much as I thought would get by the censor.

May 25:  Can you remember when I used to sing “Oh I have a little wife and I’ll love her all my life?” I still sing it much to the wonderment of the other fellows. I spent yesterday afternoon with a book of Riley’s poems. I was picking out poems to read to you and Edith when I come home.

It has been very hot this morning. During the morning the sun shines in on my side of the tent, so I spent the morning on a vacant bunk on the west side.

The doctor hasn’t said any more about my transfer. I’ll jog his memory one of these days and if he doesn’t do anything about it I’ll just go back to my troop and do the best I can.

I have had a visitor. Ben, a Filipino boy who works in a near by ward just stopped in for a talk. He often brings me some extra fruit juice or ice. You should see the ice we get. It’s not exactly ice and looks more like slush snow.

I think my jaundice has about cleared up. My eyes look very clear. Of course I can’t tell for sure until I start eating butter, bacon, and other fats. I hope it does not come back. Sometimes when you have it you get sent to the states. I would not want to risk it the second time just to get to the states.

It must seem nice to get back to Bellaire. I suppose Edith will get spoiled in grand style by her Grandmaggie and Aunt Ruth Jean. I wish she could have a puppy to play with while she is up there. Memorial day will soon be here. That’s always a big day in Bellaire.

I have a fly rod at home and I am very anxious to keep the section caps free of rust. Would you look at it please?  You might put a thin coating of oil on the caps. If there is any rust you could wipe if off with a dry cloth. Just a little rust will ruin them. Thanks. I’ll be home some day and I want my fishing tackle in tip-top shape.

May 26:  I have two air mails left. When they are gone I will be out of luck, but I’ll write every day and send them for free. I may get a ten dollar loan from the Red Cross.

The doctor came along yesterday and asked me if I felt able to go back to the troop. I told him no and he said he may send  me to a rest camp for two or three months. A rest camp would be pretty nice, but I would just as soon go some place where I would have a certain amount of work to do. Of course, I may end up right back in the troop.

We had a real American breakfast; corn meal mush, fresh scrambled eggs, grapefruit, toast and coffee. There was plenty of everything and I ate three half grapefruits. The first I had overseas.

I am starting to read David Copperfield. I am not only reading it, but I am marking every word I do not know the meaning of. I notice I have been spelling “lying” some other way. I sure have a time with spelling. Sometimes I think I should adopt Fred Allen’s method. He spells every word exactly as it sounds.  Editor’s Note: Fred Allen was a radio comedian.

If I go to rest camp I am going to have Clair T use my camera this summer. I can’t see the point of having it all packed away when he would enjoy having it.

Last night I went to see “Keys of the Kingdom.” I didn’t stay because I didn’t like it, but the boys said it was real good. I sometimes get nervous when I watch a show and when I do I get away.

Editor’s Note: The following note was written at the end of this letter. I think Grandmaggie wrote it, but as it was not signed I can’t be sure.

Dear Florence please excuse me as I opened this by mistake. I gave them your address. Max wrote me the Dr. told him he was to leave any day for a general hospital so I don’t think he is doing so good. My feet have bloated a lot. I can hardly wear shoes. I haven’t seen Jim or Wanda, but look for them on the train. I have my wash and ironing done and home cleaned up. Did you folks have a nice time at John and Bertha’s? Did Edith get her treatment? Hope you got home ok. I haven’t much time as I want to mail this today.

May 27:  This morning they took a test of my blood to see whether or not I still had jaundice. It was down to nine and that means it is just about gone. I imagine they will put me on a regular diet tomorrow and then if it doesn’t come back I’ll go back to the troop. I am still trying to get a transfer, but I have my doubts.

It has been terribly warm today. The Filipinos tell me this hot weather spells RAIN. I haven’t any doubt  but that we will get plenty of it.

I received your house plans whereby your  basement would open out on the ground. You sure want to talk me out of my basement. I am afraid a basement opening out on the ground would cease being a basement and call for more fuel. By golly Flip, I’ll build a basement and put a lock on the door so you will not have to go into it. I just re-read your letter and perhaps your basement plan isn’t so bad after all. I will try to figure out some plan and draw it up for you. Most of all we must keep the price down.  Now that we are out of debt we want to be careful. We will make out some way.

Last night the nurse gave my back a good rub. She was feeling ambitious so I let her do her best.

I have an idea Japan will soon be yelling her head off for peace. B-29’s may make her change her mind about fighting to the last man. They are a funny race of people and nothing they might do would surprise me.

Ice cream and cake tonight. I still do not have much of a desire for food, but ice cream and cake is pure ambrosia. We had oranges for breakfast. Perhaps the food situation will pick up over here. My mother tells me she gets five pounds of sugar per person to last her until the first of September. That isn’t very much. I guess I shouldn’t kick on the food because I know you folks are not eating like you would if the war wasn’t on.

May 31: I haven’t written for a couple of days so I’ll dash off a little note. Back home this is the evening of Memorial Day and I’ll bet dad’s grave looks pretty nice all covered with flowers.

Editor’s Note:  The bottom half of this page was censored. The letter picks up mid sentence. address. Keep on using the old one until I tell you differently. Yesterday I was before a board of doctors and they marked me down as battle fatigue and I expect to get into a non-combat unit, but will not know for sure for a couple of days. My eyes, ears, lungs, kidneys, stomach, etc. are all in good condition.

I am gong to draw partial pay to last me until I am paid in full. Being broke isn’t so good.

Funny, but I may not like a non-combat outfit. It will be some let down.

I just met a boy fresh from Ft. Riley and he said Eddie is still there.

Editor’s Note: Written in red pencil and dated Oct. 5, 1957. From this time on I did not have to do anything unless I wanted to. They asked me first if I would like to do it.

 

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